Are You Addicted to the Internet?
Growing concern over Internet Addiction
Friday, May 19, 2006 Posted: 1610 GMT (0010 HKT)
While not yet defined as a true addiction, many people are suffering the consequences of obsession with the online world, warns Dr. Diane M. Wieland, who treats patients with computer addiction in her practice in Lansdale, Pennsylvania.
For some people, the Internet may promote addictive behaviors and pseudo-intimate interpersonal relationships, reports Wieland in the journal, Perspectives in Psychiatric Care. "Such cyberspace contacts may result in cyber disorders such as virtual relationships that evolve into online marital infidelity (cybersex) or online sexually compulsive behaviors," she writes.
"Obsession with and craving time on the computer results in neglect of real-life personal relationships to the point of divorce," Wieland says.
The prevalence of Internet addiction is hard to gauge at the moment, Wieland notes. Extrapolating from prevalence rates of other addictions, she thinks that 5 percent to 10 percent of Internet users will most likely experience addiction. Read the rest
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